When Sourdough Surprises announced that this month’s challenge would be sourdough brownies, I knew immediately what I wanted to do. I had been thinking lately about trying a Buckeye Brownie and conveniently I was now being told that I had to make brownies for the challenge! I had already made plain sourdough brownies from the recommended recipe, and while they were good, I wanted to try something different. I had been reading through Joy the Baker’s blog recently and was attracted to her Peanut Butter Ball Cookies, but I had been thinking I would like them better as a brownie than a cookie. Hence, these Buckeye Brownies.
Buckeye Candies are a Midwestern treat and are basically peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar mixed together, rolled in a ball and dipped halfway in chocolate. They are certainly delicious on their own. However, they are also delicious when submerged in a brownie! To make these brownies, I modified and whipped up a half recipe of a really delicious Vegan brownie using my white 100% hydration sourdough starter discard straight from the fridge. When the brownies were fresh out of the oven, I gently pushed 16 previously made peanut butter balls from Joy’s cookie recipe into the surface of the brownie. I let them cool to room temperature and then refrigerated the whole pan for about an hour. When the brownies were thoroughly chilled, I spread a little circle of melted chocolate on top of each peanut butter ball. I let it set up and then cut the brownies into squares.
For a chocolate and peanut butter fan, these brownies are heaven. A cookie and candy all at once! The sourdough flavor is actually pretty noticeable in the brownies and it complements the dessert nicely. I suspect the sourdough flavor comes through better because I didn’t use butter or eggs, but that’s just a guess. I also like these brownies because the way they look makes me smile!
- For the Buckeyes:
- 6 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate
- 1 tsp. unsalted butter
- For the Brownies:
- ¾ cup unbleached all purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar (use 1 cup if you're not adding the candy on top)
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp. extra dark cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup water
- ½ tsp. espresso powder (optional)
- ½ cup 100% hydration sourdough starter
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Mix together the peanut butter, 6 Tbsp. of softened butter and the powdered sugar to make a stiff dough. You may need to use your hands to knead the mixture together.
- Roll the peanut butter mixture into 16 large balls and set them aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (175C) and line an 8x8 baking pan with foil and spray with baking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powders, baking powder and salt. Dissolve the espresso powder in the water. Add the espresso water, starter, vegetable oil and vanilla extract to the flour mixture and mix until combined.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes n the preheated oven. The top should be just set and no longer shiny.
- Set the pan on a rack and let it cool for 5 minutes. Press the peanut butter balls into the top of the brownies in a 4x4 grid.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely and then chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Melt the tsp of butter and the ½ cup of chopped chocolate together in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until the mixture is just melted and combined.
- Using a small spoon, spread a circle of melted chocolate on top of each peanut butter ball.
- Allow the chocolate to set up before cutting the brownies.
Be sure to check out other delicious brownies made by the Sourdough Surprises Group!